Using two Epson projectors, one for 2.35:1 and the other for 16:9 on ONE 2.35:1 screen (Problem help?) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I am total new here at AVS but not new to AV equipment. I have this problem for my new home theater room that I have been dwelling on for like 4 months now. Not sure what to do and need some maybe “outside of the box” thinking on how to make it happen. It must use the following equipment, but willing to add NOT replace if the cost is right,

Epson 9700UB for 2.35:1
Epson 8700UB for 16:9
Integra DHC 80.1 preamp has two HDMI outs (Either outputting same signal or select one or the other)
ISCAN VP50pro video processor
Carada 128” 2.35:1 screen with the 100” area for the 16:9
Both projectors will be in the ceiling side by side at 14 feet from screen
Separate remote for controlling curtains that masked 2.35:1 area when using a 16:9 source

I am tiring to find and easy way, through a remote control or something else, which will allow me to switch from 16:9 on one projector and 2.35:1 on the other. Note: I think my real problem is both projectors do not have any way to control when one should be off or on. I do not want both projectors on all the time due to lamp usage. The best I can work with on this is a setting that will turn off the projector if no signal is received after 5 minutes. Even worse, Epson projectors have only one remote control frequency. So any remote commands will be received by both. Both my preamp and my VP50 can do some interesting things but no real control other than 12volt triggers. Both projectors have rs232 control ports but even tho I am a electrical engineer, I am hesitant to mess with that without knowing exactly how to program it. Their must be some way to with a click of a button, have curtains open close and have one projector turn on and off (Safely that is, as their is also a thermal shutdown time frame needed before powering off) I am sure I am forgetting something else but anyway I think I might have made a mistake in assuming I could figure it out easily. Please, do not bring up why did you not buy lens memory projector(I already made that decision and I am going to stick with it, could have had a Panny and all). Please, do not bring up anamorphic lens. Some swear by them and some do not. I had a an ISCO II and even tried an ISCO III but after years of reading researching I finally gave up on them as I just found they always hurt sharpness and color but were covenant. I was not really sure where to post this question so let me know if another forum would have been better.

Thank you for any help,
Joseph
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-19-2013, 01:29 PM
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Hi,

If you're going to run Macros you'll need to go to a remote system like RTI ,that will send rs232 or IR commands that are routed out of individual ports like a xp3 or xp6 control box , so it's not like a IR blaster.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-19-2013, 08:39 PM
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If you are willing to do a little work, I'm pretty sure you could get a very nice solution using Irule http://www.iruleathome.com/ I'm assuming you already have an Ipad, if so, then the cost of Irule and the necessary global cache devices might be cheaper than a dedicated remote solution such as RTI (or Universal Remote, Control 4, etc.)

As an aside, I think there is a lot of logic to your approach from a cost perspective, in that if you want an automated solution for both 16:9 and 2.35:1, two projectors is far less expensive than one projector with an anamorphic lens and powered slide mechanism (I'm not touching the zoom vs. anamorphic lens debate, just observing which solution is cheaper).
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-21-2013, 10:53 AM
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Stack the projectors, rather than side by side, if you can. That way, you do not have to use horizontal lens shift.

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post #5 of 16 Old 05-22-2013, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Macros is what I was originally thinking. I did not know RTI had rs232 capabilities. I am rather concerned in using the rs232 port because I know that if I mess anything up it could kill the projector. Thanks
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-22-2013, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sipester View Post

If you are willing to do a little work, I'm pretty sure you could get a very nice solution using Irule http://www.iruleathome.com/ I'm assuming you already have an Ipad, if so, then the cost of Irule and the necessary global cache devices might be cheaper than a dedicated remote solution such as RTI (or Universal Remote, Control 4, etc.)

As an aside, I think there is a lot of logic to your approach from a cost perspective, in that if you want an automated solution for both 16:9 and 2.35:1, two projectors is far less expensive than one projector with an anamorphic lens and powered slide mechanism (I'm not touching the zoom vs. anamorphic lens debate, just observing which solution is cheaper).

Oh, yes. Irule might work very well for this. Never heard of it before and unfortunately I do not have an ipad but might be willing to buy one for this. I am reading that it might take a lot of work to program it and that is something I am not very good at. I am also not sure it will be able to know, as I do not know, the frequency of my curtains remote. It looks like it can fix the dual projector problem though. Thank you for the FYI. Interesting product.
And yes it took me almost two years to come to my own personal conclusion on zoom vs anamorphic. It was very convent to just use one projector and lens slid but its just not for me anymore. I have considered using a lens slide(with out the lens) on one projector that moves a gear to manual move the zoom on a lens, sort of a poor mans lens memory. I thought of designing one that could be sold to all those that might want one to convert their projectors to lens memory. In the end it seemed better to have two projectors calibrated separately any way. So gave up on that.
Thank you for the help
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-22-2013, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

Stack the projectors, rather than side by side, if you can. That way, you do not have to use horizontal lens shift.

Yeah, I wanted to do that because I would have preferred to use the more optically perfect region of the projector lens (ie middle, no left right shift) but unfortunately I am working with a 7’8” ceiling and did not want to lose anymore of the that critical ceiling height. One thing I have learned in this DIY home theater, the pros and cons to what I want vs what is doable or looks good sounds good so on. The look I want might sacrifice audio acoustics or light spill or convince, or have the projector were it will produce the best picture but ends up not aesthetically looking very good. So many decisions.

Thanks
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-24-2013, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by gamest View Post

Macros is what I was originally thinking. I did not know RTI had rs232 capabilities. I am rather concerned in using the rs232 port because I know that if I mess anything up it could kill the projector. Thanks
How? It's a simple, generally robust interface used by almost every custom installer on the planet. Who almost never have an EE degree. You can use RTI, iRule with IP->RS232 converters, or Universal Remote with their gateway devices (e.g. MSC-400) to have independent RS232 controls, or ProControl products. Just to name a few.

Still afraid of RS232, run dedicated, independent IR blaster cables to each PJ and control them independently with any of the same hardware already listed.


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post #9 of 16 Old 05-24-2013, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gamest View Post


And yes it took me almost two years to come to my own personal conclusion on zoom vs anamorphic. It was very convent to just use one projector and lens slid but its just not for me anymore. I have considered using a lens slide(with out the lens) on one projector that moves a gear to manual move the zoom on a lens, sort of a poor mans lens memory. I thought of designing one that could be sold to all those that might want one to convert their projectors to lens memory. In the end it seemed better to have two projectors calibrated separately any way. So gave up on that.
Thank you for the help

If you really want lens memory, why didn't you just go with the Panasonic, as that has motorized lens memory for exactly this type of scenario?
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-25-2013, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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How? It's a simple, generally robust interface used by almost every custom installer on the planet. Who almost never have an EE degree. You can use RTI, iRule with IP->RS232 converters, or Universal Remote with their gateway devices (e.g. MSC-400) to have independent RS232 controls, or ProControl products. Just to name a few.

Still afraid of RS232, run dedicated, independent IR blaster cables to each PJ and control them independently with any of the same hardware already listed.

I have never actually used Macros, RTI, iRule before. So, this is all new to me. I have heard of them but I know very little about how the interface works. I was informed by an old friend of mine that after programming a sequence for his projector(not sure what he used), of power on wait x-sec if no signal switch to input 2 and so on (I cannot remember the point). He flashed the device ie cycled power and was locked out with an error that could not be cleared using the normal methods. After speaking with the manufacture they asked him why he did not follow the “programming design rules” and that he had to send back the projector to be fixed. It was his fault but made me a little concerned in try and program some conditional case that maybe is an illegal sequence for Epson projectors. I also noticed in the rs232 list of commands on Epsons website showed some commands I was rather amazed they let anyone change like thermal shut down ignore conditions, wow really? Maybe you are right, now theirs safety in place to stop any installer from causing problems that happened back in the day. Remember, I am tiring to have one click of a button, power one projector on, the other off(safely) and open/close currents. I am also a very poor programmer but you are right, it seems like it should not be that hard as long as I know exactly what I am doing. I am still a little confused in the details to use the devices mentioned here and I think I will just have to chose one and spend some time experimenting, reading manuals. Or, maybe someone here has examples of what they did wiring, program and all? Thanks for the reply and I will post the final design and pictures when I am done.
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-25-2013, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sipester View Post

If you really want lens memory, why didn't you just go with the Panasonic, as that has motorized lens memory for exactly this type of scenario?

I found the Epsons personally just a little better in color and pixel alignment on the edges vs the Panasonic. I do like the Panasonics but I really wish they used the better fabricated LCD panels that Epson manufactures and fuji lens. I also wish they had the THX mode. I know, if I calibrate it should not matter on the THX mode but the Epson 9700 just seem better to my eyes then the Panasonic I have seen calibrated. I will give the Panasonic the A++ in frame interpolation for games. I also took comfort in the 3year warranty that is amazing for Epson, I already have called them up once and got a free bulb next day shipping. Great costumer service! It is too late now to go back to Panasonic, maybe for 4K wink.gif
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-25-2013, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gamest View Post

I have never actually used Macros, RTI, iRule before. So, this is all new to me. I have heard of them but I know very little about how the interface works. I was informed by an old friend of mine that after programming a sequence for his projector(not sure what he used), of power on wait x-sec if no signal switch to input 2 and so on (I cannot remember the point). He flashed the device ie cycled power and was locked out with an error that could not be cleared using the normal methods. After speaking with the manufacture they asked him why he did not follow the “programming design rules” and that he had to send back the projector to be fixed. It was his fault but made me a little concerned in try and program some conditional case that maybe is an illegal sequence for Epson projectors. I also noticed in the rs232 list of commands on Epsons website showed some commands I was rather amazed they let anyone change like thermal shut down ignore conditions, wow really? Maybe you are right, now theirs safety in place to stop any installer from causing problems that happened back in the day. Remember, I am tiring to have one click of a button, power one projector on, the other off(safely) and open/close currents. I am also a very poor programmer but you are right, it seems like it should not be that hard as long as I know exactly what I am doing. I am still a little confused in the details to use the devices mentioned here and I think I will just have to chose one and spend some time experimenting, reading manuals. Or, maybe someone here has examples of what they did wiring, program and all? Thanks for the reply and I will post the final design and pictures when I am done.

First, and no offense intended, I can't say that I agree with your conclusions, your plans or reasons for them, but if that's the way you want to go, it's pretty straightforward to do...

The hardest part with any of those solution is learning how to program the specific controlling device, not the PJ. Some are harder than others. Based on your stated occupation, you should not find it hard to learn/teach yourself. There's plenty of people here or at Remote Central who will help you with any of them. The least expensive option mentioned is iRule (link here) and the Global Cache IP->RS232 (or IR) converters. If you'd like to purchase any of the remote control products mentioned, I'm a dealer for all of them, we'll fix you up.

Let's take possibly the the simplest example, or maybe the most common anyway: A URC remote (e.g. MX-780 link here) and a URC RF base station (MRF-260 link here) with multiple IR out ports. You wire an IR blaster to each PJ. The blaster is literally stuck to the "eye" of the IR port on the PJ so the other PJ won't "see" it. You set up your devices in their software and assign each device to an IR output port. You program a macro on the remote to a button. The macro is simply a list of commands instead of the one command for one button press. So maybe you have button that says "watch 2.35". That executes the macro of:
Turn on Receiver
Turn on 2.35 projector (it will only send the command out that PJ's IR port)
Turn on video device, cable box, BluRay, whatever.


Want to watch your other PJ, have the same type macro.
Want to switch, make a 2.35->16:9 macro that says
Turn off 2.35 PJ
Turn on 16:9 PJ

And an opposite one for switching the other way.

Learn a little programing and you can get fancier and do things like have a button that says switch PJ and some if-the-else logic, if 2.35 PJ is on, turn it off, turn 16:9 PJ on, elseif 16:9 is on, turn it off, turn 2.35 on.

What are you going to do when watching your 2.35 PJ and there is content you want/need to see but it is off-screen? For example a BluRay menu across the bottom of a 16:9 window?


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post #13 of 16 Old 05-25-2013, 11:16 AM
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What are you going to do when watching your 2.35 PJ and there is content you want/need to see but it is off-screen? For example a BluRay menu across the bottom of a 16:9 window?

I'd highly recommend using the VP50 to control aspect ratio on the 2.35 projector. It's a no-brainer for viewing things like menus/trailers etc. And the scaled 16:9 PQ is surprisingly good on actual content. You may find you don't need to fire up the 16:9 projector as often. Perhaps just when you know everything you plan to watch is 16:9...
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-25-2013, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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First, and no offense intended, I can't say that I agree with your conclusions, your plans or reasons for them, but if that's the way you want to go, it's pretty straightforward to do...

The hardest part with any of those solution is learning how to program the specific controlling device, not the PJ. Some are harder than others. Based on your stated occupation, you should not find it hard to learn/teach yourself. There's plenty of people here or at Remote Central who will help you with any of them. The least expensive option mentioned is iRule (link here) and the Global Cache IP->RS232 (or IR) converters. If you'd like to purchase any of the remote control products mentioned, I'm a dealer for all of them, we'll fix you up.

Let's take possibly the the simplest example, or maybe the most common anyway: A URC remote (e.g. MX-780 link here) and a URC RF base station (MRF-260 link here) with multiple IR out ports. You wire an IR blaster to each PJ. The blaster is literally stuck to the "eye" of the IR port on the PJ so the other PJ won't "see" it. You set up your devices in their software and assign each device to an IR output port. You program a macro on the remote to a button. The macro is simply a list of commands instead of the one command for one button press. So maybe you have button that says "watch 2.35". That executes the macro of:
Turn on Receiver
Turn on 2.35 projector (it will only send the command out that PJ's IR port)
Turn on video device, cable box, BluRay, whatever.


Want to watch your other PJ, have the same type macro.
Want to switch, make a 2.35->16:9 macro that says
Turn off 2.35 PJ
Turn on 16:9 PJ

And an opposite one for switching the other way.

Learn a little programing and you can get fancier and do things like have a button that says switch PJ and some if-the-else logic, if 2.35 PJ is on, turn it off, turn 16:9 PJ on, elseif 16:9 is on, turn it off, turn 2.35 on.

What are you going to do when watching your 2.35 PJ and there is content you want/need to see but it is off-screen? For example a BluRay menu across the bottom of a 16:9 window?

Oh, yes that would work! I mean using the MRF-260 and remote with IR blasters to each projector the way you are describing. If it can be programmed just that way it would work great. No need to use rs232. I see what you mean now and thank you. Can it learn a curtain remote signal by adding one more blaster? I do not know what IR frequency it is or brand. And no offense taken at all, I think I might not have explained myself well in that post. I have not made any final decision yet as I am still weighing which way would be the easiest cheapest way to go. Though I think this should work just the way I want it. I might have to charge a few little things like disable the “press okay if you want to power off” extra step when you press power OFF on these projectors. That has to go, that way I can switch faster from one projector to another and not see two images on the screen at once. I think I saw it as an optional ON/OFF setting on the projectors. I don’t need to control the Iscan or Preamp(outputting to both projectors at once) because I think I will just have them on all the time and only powered them off when I leave the room.

I have an Integra DBS 50.2 bluRay player that places the sub-menu and everything else like captions where I want it(inside the 2.35:1 area all the time), that has never been a problem. I really only need to see the beginning of the move menu in 16:9 so the VP50 will do that downsize basically zoom out in the area of the total 16:9 so it is a small 16:9 in the 2.35:1. After movie stars I will switch off, that’s my plan anyway.
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-25-2013, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 5mark View Post

I'd highly recommend using the VP50 to control aspect ratio on the 2.35 projector. It's a no-brainer for viewing things like menus/trailers etc. And the scaled 16:9 PQ is surprisingly good on actual content. You may find you don't need to fire up the 16:9 projector as often. Perhaps just when you know everything you plan to watch is 16:9...

Yes, that is what I was planning on doing. The VP50 has so many useful features it was well worth the money.
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-25-2013, 01:56 PM
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Oh, yes that would work! I mean using the MRF-260 and remote with IR blasters to each projector the way you are describing. If it can be programmed just that way it would work great. No need to use rs232. I see what you mean now and thank you. Can it learn a curtain remote signal by adding one more blaster? I do not know what IR frequency it is or brand. And no offense taken at all, I think I might not have explained myself well in that post. I have not made any final decision yet as I am still weighing which way would be the easiest cheapest way to go. Though I think this should work just the way I want it. I might have to charge a few little things like disable the “press okay if you want to power off” extra step when you press power OFF on these projectors. That has to go, that way I can switch faster from one projector to another and not see two images on the screen at once. I think I saw it as an optional ON/OFF setting on the projectors. I don’t need to control the Iscan or Preamp(outputting to both projectors at once) because I think I will just have them on all the time and only powered them off when I leave the room.

It works just the way I described it. Same goes for alternate remote solutions. re the extra power off, again, easy and common. You just add the second PJ power off command to your macro. Add a 100 ms delay between if necessary. No need to reconfigure the PJ. You would program full functionality of your other components into the remote as well. The IR ports are discrete (you control them individually), so you decide what gets a command and when. If the curtain is IR based, you can teach this remote it's control with ease. No need to know anything about it's frequency. Again, common and trivial to do with a decent programmable remote. Excuse the plug but if you don't have the other PJ yet, I'm authorized Epson dealer, too, get you a package deal.


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